Слике страница
PDF
ePub

H. OF R.)

Indian Appropriation Bill.

(FEB. 1, 1837.

erer

powerful States. Our thronged cities, our cultivated nal inhabitants. The latter were admitted to possess a fields, our edifices, ships, commerce, canals, railways, present right of occupancy, or use in the soil, which the marks of our prosperity and the monuments of our was subordinate to the ultimate dominion of the discov. civilization, which meet the eye on all hands, bespeak They were admitted to be the rightful occupants the presence and the power of a great people. But the of ihe soil, with a legal as well as just claim to retain primitive lords of the soil are humble dependants on our possession of it, and to use it according to their own dis. annual bounty, mutilated, scattered, extinct, melted cretion. In a certain sense, they were permitted to ex. away in our path like a snow-flake, devoured as the dew ercise rights of sovereignty over it. They might sell or before the morning sun. The land once theirs is ours. transfer it to the sovereign who discovered it, but they The empire of our civilization is, by right or by were denied the authority to dispose of it to any other wrong, honestly or dishonestly, established indestructi- / person; and, until such a sale or transfer, they were bly throughout the New World.

generally permitted to occupy it as sovereigns de facto. By what tenure of right is it that we hold our posses. But, notwithstanding this occupancy, the European dissions? In regard to this point there is consistency, at coverers claimed and exercised the right to grant the least, if there be not justice, in the doctrine of all Euro. soil, while yet in the possession of the natives, subject, peans. Every nation, as it proceeded to make settle. however, to their right of occupancy; and the title so ments in the New World, claimed i:s territory by the granted was universally admitted to convey a sufficient tiile either of discovery or of conquest. They were title in the soil to the grantees in perfect dominion.” Christians, introducing their own race, and with it their And Chancellor Kent: laws, into regions occupied by Pagans. Thus it notori “ This assumed but qualified dominion over the Inously was in ihe case of the Spaniards and Portuguese, dian tribes, regarding them as enjoying no higher title who obtained so large a portion of this continent. The to the soil than that founded en simple occupancy, and soil and its inhabitants were partitioned between them to be incompetent to transfer their title to any other by the Papal See, and given up to their arms as to an power than the Government which claims the jurisdic. enterprise of crusade. Columbus, the great discoverer, tion of their territory by right of discovery, arose, in a Cortes and Pizarro, the great conquerors, and others of great degree, from the necessity of the case. the Peninsular nations, came to the New World under was founded on the pretension of converting the dismixed inducements of ambition and of religion. They covery of the country into a conquest; and it is now tou fought under the banner of the cross. In this sign they late to draw into discussion the validity of that preten. overthrew the empires of the Incas and of the Mexicans, sion, or the restrictions which it imposes. It is estaband colonized the rich regions of the South. A similar lished by numerous compacts, treaties, laws, and of stap principle directed the colonial undertakings of the dinances, and founded in immemorial usage. The coun- **** French, English, and Dutch. Thus, the commission to Try has been colonized and settled, and is now held by the the Cabots, in virtue of whose voyage of discovery Great that title. It is the law of the land, and no court of Britain acquired her title in America, empowered them justice can permit the right to be disturbed by specula. :: to discover countries unknown to Christian people, and tive reasonings or abstract rights." to take possession of these in the name of the King of Such, then, is the settled law of the land in every in England. Each and all of the original colonies now com. part of the United States. The abstract justice of the posing the United States, as Florida, Virginia, Massa- principle is another question. It grew up, as Chancelchusetts, New York, Louisiana, founded by Spain, Eng. lor Kent suggests, out of the necessity of the case. Was land, Holland, and France, respectively, proceeded in it better, in the general sum of good, that millions of the assertion of their right, as Christians, to plant the Christians, or that thousands of Pagans, should occupy lands previously held by Indians. However questionable America? That the land should be suffered to remain may be the nature of such a pretension, still it was the as a lair of wild beasts, and a vast hunting field for a few idea universally followed. There is not an acre of land scattered savages, or that it should be filled with culli beld by a citizen of the United States, whose title stands vated men, and the improvements, moral, political, and on any other foundation. It is the fundamental doctrine, religious, which appertain to refined life? I will not the oldest element, in the municipal law of every State undertake to answer this question, to sum up the good of the Union.

attained, and the expense at wbich attained, so as to Conformable to which has been the practice of each strike the balance between civilization and barbarism, of the States, and also of the United States, in their 1 content myself, in this part of the subject, to deal legislation, and in the decisions of their judicial tri with the practical fact, which lies at the foundation of bunals of every class. The several States, in the dis our intercourse with the Indians. position of the lands belonging to them, and the United This maxim of public law has directed the coloniza States, in the disposition of the national domain, main- tion of America, from the beginning to the present time. tain that the ultimale dominion over the soil, and the In the English colonies, as distinguished from the exclusive righi of granting it, are in themselves sub. Spanish, the process of settlement was mostly a peace: ject only to the qualified right of occupancy remaining ful one. Generally, the colonists quieted and estinin the Indian. The latier can occupy, but cannot give guished the title of the Indians by contract, and at such a title. His deed conveys his mere occupancy; a title a price, however inadequate, as they were well satis. in fee can be derived only from the Government. To lied to receive. Yet there was, I believe, no colony of this effect are all the text books. Thus, Chief Justice any magnitude which did not, at some period of its ex Marshall says:

istence, engage in hostilities with the Indians, and ac “ All the nations of Europe who have acquired terri. quire lands by force, and in right of war. And there tory on this continent have asserted in themselves, and was no colony wbich did not assume, or in practice have recognised in others, the exclusive right of the dis. sanction, the right of exterior legislation over the In coverer to appropriate the lands occupied by the In- diang within its limits, leaving them, nevertheless, to dians.

regulate their own interior police, as municipal com And Judge Story:

munities, so long as they continued capable of doing it * It may be asked what was the effect of this princi. In the legislation of Massachusetts, for instance, and ple of discovery, in respect to the rights of the natives New York, as well as that of the United States, the Ir themselves? In the view of the Europeans, it created dians are treated as a dependent, not a sovereign, nor a peculiar relation between themselves and the aborigi. I foreign people; as being in a state of pupilage; urd

FIB. 1, 1837.)

Indian Appropriation Bill.

(H. OF R.

wardship; and, if indulged with partial self-government, would undoubtedly be in the power of a State Govern. yet subject to see that self-government cease, when ment to extend to them the ægis of its laws. Under ibeir condition shall seem to us to require it; or, in such circumstances, the agency of the General Govern. other words, at the will of the State, or of the United ment, of necessity, must cease. States, who by the constitution now possess the exclu. “But if it shall be the policy of the Government to sive regulation of intercourse with the Indians. And withdraw its protection from the Indians who reside with. this, again, though at one time a questioned point, must in the limits of the respective States, and who not only now be regarded as the settled law of the land. Chief claimed the right of self-government, but have uniform. Justice Marshall says:

ly exercised it, the laws and treaties which impose du. " It may well be doubted whether those tribes which ties and obligations on the General Government should reside within the acknowledged boundaries of the Uni. be abrogated by the powers competent to do so. So ted States can, with strict accuracy, be denominated long as those laws and treaties exist, having been formforeign nations. They may, more correctly, perhaps, ed within the sphere of the federal powers, they must be denominated domestic dependent nations. They be respected and enforced by the appropriate organs of occupy a territory to which we assert a title independ the Federal Government.” ent of their will, which must take effect, in point of Mr. C. said that, having thus developed the public possession, when their right of possession ceases. Mean- law and the constitutional right applicable to the Indians while, they are in a state of pupilage. Their relation within the territory of the United States, he should now to the United States resembles that of a ward to his proceed to another branch of the Jestion of national guardian. They look to our Government for protec. policy involved in the subject. Under various treaties tion; rely upon its kindness and its power; appeal to it with the Indians, at every epoch of our history, the Uni. for relief to their wants; and address the President as ted States have assumed the duty of protecting them; their Great Father. They and their country are con we have labored to maintain peace among them; we sidered by foreign nations, as well as by ourselves, as have anxiously endeavored to civilize and elevate them; being so completely under the sovereignty and domin. we have admitted their right of occupancy; we have ion of the United States, that any atterr.pt to acquire proceeded in the extinction of their title by treaties conIbeir lands, or to form a political connexion with them, laining liberal stipulations for their permanent advantage; would be considered by all as an invasion of our terri. our national intercourse with them has been dictated in tory, and an act of hostility.”

general by a pacific, just, and paternal spirit, becoming These principles became the subject of elaborate the character of the United States. judicial investigation, in consequence of the controversy Upon observation of the state of the Indians, in the between the Cherokees and the State of Georgia. A aim of consulting their particular welfare, and at the summary view of the whole ground is presented in the same time maintaining them in existence as a distinct following remarks of Chief Justice Marshall:

people, it has been seen that three courses offered them "The exercise of the power of self-government by selves to the choice of the United States: ihe Indians, within a Stale, is undoubtedly contemplated In the first place, the Indians might be prompted or to be temporary. This is shown by the settled policy allowed to organize themselves into political communi. of the Government, in the extinguishment of their title, ties, within the limi's of the States in which they should and especially by the compact with the State of Georgia. happen to be, and independent of the local jurisdiction It is a question not of abstract right, but of public of such States. Some of the Southern tribes, from the policy. I do not mean to say that the same moral rule admixture of white men, or from other causes, did in wbich should regulate ibe affairs of private life, should fact make a great and visible progress towards civiliza. not be regarded by conmunities or nations.

But a

tion, and bad manifested an aptitude and a disposition wound national policy does require that the Indian to continue as organized nations on the soil of their intribes within our States should exchange their terri- heritance. They had been favored in this by the United tories, upon equitable principles, or, eventually, con. States. Yet the difficulties attending the execution of sent to become amalgamated in our political communi- such a plan were serious and embarrassing in the ex

treme, even if at all superable. I admit (said Mr. C.) " At best, they can enjoy a very limited independence the magnitude of those difficulties. I defer to the truth within the boundaries of a State, and such a residence of the remark of Chief Justice Marshall, just quoted, must always subject them to encroachments from the that the exercise of the powers of self.government by settlements around them; and their existence within a the Indians within a State, has ever, in the policy of State, as a separate and independent community, may this nation, been contemplated as temporary; ihat, as a Seriously embarrass or obstruct the operation of the general rule, when it becomes inconsis:ent with the po. State laws. If, therefore, it would be inconsistent with litical welfare of a State that an independent power the political welfare of the States, and the social advance should exist within its limits, this power must give way of their citizens, that an independent and permanent to the greater power which surrounds il; and that sound power should exist within their limits, this power must policy requires of such lesser power, either to part with five way to the greater power which surrounds it, or its territory upon equitable considerations, or eventualBeek its exercise beyond the sphere of State authority. ly consent to become amalgamated in the larger politi

"This state of things can only be produced by a co cal community. I recall to mind the corresponding reoperation of the State and Federal Governments. The mark of Chancellor Keni, in regard to the Indians in the latter has the exclusive regulation of intercourse with older States, that, “ To leave the Indians in posses,ion the Indians; and, so long as this power shall be exerci. of the country was to leave the country a wilderness; sed, it cannot be obstructed by the State. It is a power and to govern them as a distinct people, or to mix with given by the constitution, and sanctioned by the most them, or admit them to an intercommunity of privileges, solemn acts of both the Federal and State Governments; was impossible, under the circumstances of iheir relaconsequently, it cannot be abrogated at the will of a tive condition." These difficulties, I repeat, in the way State. It is one of the powers parted with by the States, of leaving the Indians to the exercise of independent and vested in the Federal Government. But if a con. political sovereignty within the limits of a State, are se. G:gency shall occur, which shall render the Indians who rious and embarrassing, even if they be at all superable. Teade in a state incapable of self-government, either by They have led to the adoption, in the older Siates, ofDoral degradation or a reduction of their numbers, it In the second place, the organization of the Indians

ties.

II. Or R.]

Indian Appropriation Bill.

[FEB. 1, 1837.

into municipal communities merely, acting under the have joined with the opponents of it in considering its guardianship and supreme legislative control of the policy too questionable, the visible and immediate wrong State. Such is the present condition of the few remain-| too flagrant, the neglect or violation of the pledged faith ing Indians within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. of the United States too palpable, the hazards of war

Thirdly, the removal of the Indians from without the and bloodshed to ensue upon its adoption too certain, to limits of the individual States, and their establishment justify him in voting for its enactment. He thought he in the unoccupied territory of the United States west of distinguished in the disastrous events which were now the Mississippi. This must be regarded as the system. transpiring in the South, the very consequences tben atic policy of the present administration. When I predicted as likely to follow a systematic attempt to speak of it as the policy of the present administration, drive the Indians at once beyond the Mississippi. I do not forget the fact that the idea of the removal of Now, in seeking after measures of practical good, for the Indians was entertained at an early period in the his the benefi: of the Indians, (continued Mr. C.,) I start tory of the Goveroment. The compact with Georgia from these premises. I perceive it to be the setiled law proves it; and, under the administration of Mr. Monroe, of the land, in the jurisdiction as well of the United especially, the idea began to assume a distinct shape, as States as of the several Stales, that the soil of this cona political measure. But the adoption of the policy, as tinent belongs of right to us. It is ours to take, to pos. a setiled system, belongs to the last eight years; and the sess, to convey. I perceive it to be the settled law of responsibility of it, for good or for evil, for honor or for the land, that either the United States, or the several dishonor, rests with the present administration.

States, as the case may be, now hold, or may assume, That system, as now in the course of execution, re the government and ultimate control of the Indians. ceived the sanction of Congress and of the Executive in Finally, I perceive it to be the settled policy of those the act of the 28th May, 1830, for the removal of the In. who now administer, and who will for a time, at least, done dians west of the Mississippi, which provides as follows: continue to adıninister, the affairs of the Federal Gov.

“Sec. 1. It shall and may be lawful for the President ernment, to remove the Indians out of the States, and to cause so much of any territory belonging to the Uni. to collect them by themselves west of the Mississippi. ted States west of the Mississippi, not included in any Is there a single member of this House who supposes State or organized Territory, and to which the Indian that the Government of the United States will retrace title may be extinguished, as he may judge necessary, its steps in this malter? The tide of emigration is fons to be divided into a suitable number of districts, for the ing to the West. It is impelled by the public force of reception of sich tribes or nations of Indians as may the nation. Will its refluent waters be made to roll choose to exchange the lands where they now reside, back in their channel? Can they? We know, we must and move there.

know, that the process of removal cannot be arrested. “Suc. 2. It shall be lawful for the President solemnly However lainentable it may be, we cannot recall what is to assure the tribe or nation with which the exchange is past. We cannot prevent its consummation. It is the made, that the United States will forever secure and existing, certain, unchangeable fact. guaranty to them, and their beirs or successors, the coun. What remains for us, then, as practical statesmen, lo try so exchanged with them; and, if they prefer it, that do? It seems to me a self-evident proposition, too plain the United States will cause a patent or grant to be for argument, that, instead of wasting our sympathy for made and executed to them for the same.”

the Indians upon impossible objects, we should cast about “Sec. 7. Il shall be lawful for the President to have for the means of protecting and serving them efficiently the same superintendence and care over any tribe in the new bomes beyond the Mississippi we have comor nation in the country to which they may remove, as pelled them to accept. I cannot bring my mind to ap: contemplated by this act, that he is now authorized to prove the policy of removal, particularly in the time and have over them at their present place of residence." mode of its actual execution. But I acquiesce in the

The system has received the further sanction of Con fact which is. I hazard something, perhaps, in making gress in the act of the 141h July, 1832, having for its ob this avowal; but I should be unworthy of my place here, ject the appointment of commissioners to visit and ex. if I were content to swim passively along forever in the amine the country set apart for the emigrating Indians current, without venturing at any time to act independwest of the Mississippi, and to report to the War Depart ently upon my own judgment; and I feel a deep convicment a plan for the improvement, government, and se. tion that it is become a duty to direct my own efforts, curity, of the Indians.

and, so far as my example or counsel may have influNow, under the authority of these acts of Congress, ence, the efforts of other friends of the Indians, into the the President bas proceeded to negotiate treaties with only practicable path of beneficence which the provithe Indians for their removal to the West, which Congress dence of God has left us to tread. We cannot prevent has confirmed, by directly approving the treaties, and by their emigration. Let us unite in smoothing the way making vast appropriations to carry them into effect. before them; in protecting them at the end of their Some of the Indians have already gone. Others, in journey; and in elevating them, if we may, to the rank cluding the more numerous and important tribes, are in of civilized men, capable of participating in the advanthe course of removal. The contemplated examination lages which our social and political institutions bestow. of the territory assigned for their reception has been Mr. C. said he was confirmed in these views by the made. Plans for the government and security of the re. considerations offered in the elaborate report from the moved Indians have been presented to, and have been committee on Indian Affairs, presented, at the last Conapproved by, the War Department. Many millions of gress, by the gentleman from Vermont, [Mr. EVERETT.} money have been appropriated in execution of the sev ile would ask the attention of the House to two or three eral treaties of emigration. In short, the systematic ri sentences from that report: moval of Indians, I again say, is the seltled policy of the “ All must now see and admit that the relations, here. existing Government of the United States.

tofore so much desired by the Indians and their friends, Mr. C. said that if he had enjoyed the honor of a seat cannot be sustained in future in their present situation. in Congress at the time the law of 1830, which gave Whatever may be the wishes of the Government, and method and system to the policy of removal, was enact. even whatever may be its righ:s, and physical power to ed, he could not have yielled his assent to the measure. enforce those rights, yet the attemptio enforce them Ile applauded the eloquence, the courage, the zeal, the might be attended with consequences not less disastrous ability, with which the law was resisled. le should to the Indians than to the harmiony of the States."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Fre. I, 1837.)

Indian Approprialion Bill.

(H. of R.

[ocr errors][merged small]

And again:

rism of their own institutions, with the inadequate assist"Whatever difference of opinion may heretofore have ance of an agent, and the slight control of the general existed, the policy of the Government, in regard to the superintendent, would be imprudent as it regards ourfuture condition of those tribes of Indians, may now be selves, and unjust towards them. Under such a system, regarded as definitively settled. To induce them to re hostilities will frequently break out between the differmove west of the Mississippi, to a territory set apart and ent tribes, and sometimes between them and the inhabidedicated to their use and government forever, to secure tants of our frontiers, attended, in both cases, by the to them a final home, to elevate their intellectual, moral, usual consequences of savage warfare. To fulfil, in their and civil condition, and to fit them for the enjoyment of true spirit, the engagements into which we have entered, the blessings of a free government, is that policy." we must institute a comprehensive system of guardian.

I declare my acquiescence, then, (said Mr. C.,) not in ship, adapted to the circumstances and wants of the peothe original justice, but in the present fact, of the remo ple, and calculated to lead them, gradually and safely, val of the Indians. Doing so, I direct my mind in to the exercise of self-government, and, at as early a day pursuit of their good, according to the new condition of as circumstances will allow, the expectations authorized ihings

, imposed upon us by the course of events. I look by the passages above quoted from the treaties with the to the administration, which holds the efficient power of Choctaws and Cherokees should be fulfilled. Indeed, the country in its hands, to see what are the plans of the from the facts staied by the Commissioner, it is scarcely Government. I find them to be, what the report of the to be doubted that the Choctaws are already in a con. Committee on Indian Affairs indicates, as manifested in dition to justify the measure. The daily presence of a past years, and especially as communicated to the pres. native Delegate on the floor of the House of Representent Congress by the acting Secretary of War. His re. atives of the United States, presenting, as occasion may port developes the designs of the administration, as require, to that dignified assembly the interest of his follows:

people, would, more than any other single act, attest to "Connected with the general subject of our Indian re ihe world and to the Indian tribes the sincerity of our lations are two measures, proposed by the Commissioner, endeavors for their preservation and happiness. In the which I deem of great moment. They are the organi- successful issue of those endeavors, we shall find a more zation of an efficient system for the protection and gove precious and durable accession to the glory of our counernmeat of the Indian country west of the Mississippi, try, than by any triumph we can achieve in arts or in and the establishment of military posts for the protection arms. of that country and of our own frontiers, in addition to Mr. C. said that he recognised in the sentiments of those now authorized by law.

this report the upright and accomplished mind from "These measures are due to the numerous tribes which they emanated. He commended the general purwhom we have planted in this extensive territory, and to poses it disclosed. Of the details of the plan it would the pledges and encouragements by which they were be premature to speak now: they would become a subinduced to consent to a change of residence. We may jeci of discussion hereafter, as connected with a bill now be said to have consummated the policy of emigra wbich the Committee on Indian Affairs had just presenttion, and to have entered on an era full of interest to both ed, in accordance with the designs of the Government. parties. It involves the last hopes of humanity in respect He would, however, solicit the attention of the House to the Indian tribes; and though, to the United States, at this time to an important provision of our treaties its issues cannot be equally momentous, they yet deeply with the Indians, very properly referred to by the Secconcern our prosperity and honor. It therefore be retary of War. hooves us, at tnis juncture, seriously to examine the The treaty with the Delawares, concluded at Fort relations which exist between the United States and the Pitt, on the 17th September, 1778, in the very crisis of is habitants of the Indian country, to look into the duties the war of the Revolution, contains the following article: which devolve on us, and to mature a system of meas " Art. 6. And it is further agreed on between the ures for their just and constant execution.

contracting parties, should it be found conducive to the " In almost every treaty providing for the emigration mutual interest of hoth parties, to invite any other tribes of an Indian tribe, the impossibility of preserving it from who have been friends to the United States to join the extinction, if left within the limits of any of the States or present confederation, and to form a State, whereof the organized Territories of the United States, and thus Delaware nation shall be the bead, and have a repre€xposed to the advances of the white population, is sentative in Congress." expressly recognised. The advantages which the tribe And in the treaty concluded with the Cherokeeg, at will derive from its establishment in a territory to be Hopewell, on the 28th November, 1785, is the followexclusively occupied by red men, under the solemn ing: guarantees and the paternal care of the United States, “Art. 12. That the Indians may have full confidence ale uniformly insisted on. In the treaty with the Chocol in the justice of the United States, respecting their inaws of the 27th of September, 1830, the wish of the terests, they shall have a right to send a deputy of their tribes to be allowed the privilege of a Delegate in the choice, whenever they think fit, to Congress.” Hurse of Representatives of the United States is ex And in the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, with the pressly mentioned; and though not acceded to by the Choctaws, of the 27th September, 1830, is the followcammissioners of the United States, yet they insert in ing: the treaty, that Congress may consider of and decide "Art. 22. The chiefs of the Choctaws have suggestIbe application.'. In the late treaty with the Cherokees ed that their people are in a state of rapid advancement tast of the Mississippi, it is expressly stipulated that in education and refinement, and have expressed a solithey shall be entitled to a Delegate in the House of citude that they might have the privilege of a Delegate Representatives, whenever Congress shall make provi- on the floor of the House of Representatives extended son for the same.' It is not to be doubted that the to them. The commissioners do not feel that they can, hopes thus held out to these tribes had an important in under a treaty stipulation, accede to the request; but, at fidence in determining them to consent to emigrate to their desire, present it in the treaty, that Congress may their new homes in the West.

consider of and decide the application.” “Although some of the Indians have made considera. Finally, at so late a period as the 29th December, ble advances in civilization, they all need the guardian. | 1835, in the treaty of New Echota, with the Cherokees, ship of the United States. To leave them to the barba. is this article:

[ocr errors]

H. OF R.)

Indian Appropriation Bill.

(FEB, 1, 1837.

" Art. 7. The Cherokee nation having already made present degradation of the Indians; since we sought great progress in civilization, and deeming it important them, not they us; and if no Europeans had come hither, that every proper and laudable inducement should be of. the aboriginal inhabitants of the country would have re. fered to their people to improve their condition, as well tained their independence and their pristine sovereignty: as to guard and secure in the most effectual manner the Abstractly considered, our conduct towards them, and rights guarantied to them in this treaty, and with a view the doctrines of public right which govern it, are marked to illustrate the liberal and enlightened policy of the by many traits of injustice. You take possession of their Government of the United States towards the Indians, in country by what you call the right of discovery, or by their removal beyond the territorial limits of the States, conquest. You pay them for it, say you? Yes, you purit is stipulated that they shall be entitled to a Delegaie clase land enough for the domicil of a nation with a in the House of Representatives of the United States, string of glass beads. And it is impossible to adjust to whenever Congress sball make provision for the same." the standard of abstract justice a dominion built on the

Now, I cannot permit myself (said Mr. C.) to consider bones and cemented with the blood of vanquished and these reiterated stipulations as mere tricks of diplomacy, extinguished tribes. You must offend against their natdishonest aris, false pretences, held up to allure the ural rights, when your power could not otherwise stand. Indians into treaties of cession and of emigration. The They feel, as did the Indian described by Erskine: idea continually suggested to them has been: You shall “Who is it,' said the jealous ruler of the desert, enbecome as we are; you shall be organized into a political croached upon by the restless foot of transatlantic ad. community, under the guaranty and safeguard of the venture; "who is it that causes this river to rise in the United States; you shall be heard in the great council of high mountains, and to empty itself into the ocean? the American people. I desire to see this promise of who is it that makes the loud winds of winter to blow, the nation fulfilled, either to the letter, or, at any rate, and that calms them again in summer! Who is it that in spirit and substance. I hope the Government acts in rears up the shade of these lofty forests, and that blasts good faith in this matter. I know it has the power, I them with the quick lighining at his pleasure? The adjure it to exert an efficient will, to accomplish its same Being who gave to you a country beyond the waavowed plans of humanity and justice in behalf of the ter, and gave ours to us; and by this title we will defend to emigrant Indians.

it,' said the warrior, throwing down his tomahawk on The fate of the Indians, in every part of the United the ground, and raising the war cry of bis nation." States, has been a deplorable one, from the first day of These are the feelings of subjugated men every where, our intercourse with them to the present hour.' In civilized or uncivilized. They are the feelings which Maine, the tribes, so conspicuous once in the wars of produce the scenes now occurring in Florida. They New England and of Canada, are sunk to a community are the feelings in violation of which our empire in the of humble fishermen. In Massachusetts, in Rhode Is. New World was founded. Yet, will you abandon the land, in Connecticut, the Mobicans, the Pequois, the land now by nativity yours, the homes of your kindred Narragansetts, names of pride and of power, have dwin. and your affection?' You will not? But your dominion dled to a wretched remnant. In New York, how few over the country has no root in abstract equity, and it is survive of that great and famous confederacy of the six extended and upheld only by your superior strength and Nations! The Delawares and their kindred tribes have art, not by their gratitude or iheir attachment for benedisappeared from Pennsylvania and Virginia. Our lakes, fits received. And it behooves you to make reparation our rivers, our mountains, our political communities, for the injury your very existence here inflicts on the give witness, in the names they bear, to the former ex Indian, by promoting, in all possible ways, his welfare, istence of that old race, which has vanished before us, civilization, and peace. and left no other signs of its presence. In the newer Every consideration of policy calls upon us to conciliStates, we see that process of decay or of extinction ate, if we may, the Indians wiibin our jurisdiction. We now going on which is consummated in the old ones; the have compacted together in the West emigrant Indians Seminoles in arms on their native soil, fighting, not for from various quarters, tribes unfriendly or inimical to life or land, but for vengeance, and vowed, it would each other, sections of tribes reciprocally hostile, and seem, like the Pequots, to a war of self-extermination; all imbittered, more or less, against us, by whom they the Creeks hurrying in broken bands to the West; the bave been driven from their own ancient abodes, and Cherokees, the most cultivated of the southern tribes, stript of their long-descended independence. Can sappausing over their doomed exile, like the waters of the age warriors, the captives of battle, transported to the cataract, which gather themselves on the edge of the West, as chiefs of the hostile Creeks have recently been, precipice, ere they leap into the inevitable abyss. prisoners of war in irons-can such men, constituted as

Is there no responsibility devolved on us by this state they are, fail to nourish the vindictive and jealous feel. of things? That we are wholly responsible for it, I can ings which belong to their nature? Will we take no by no means admit. The condition in which we see the pains to remove or allay these feelings of irritation? Will Indians has arisen from the fact that they are savages; we deal justly with them hereafter! Will our equity and that thưý are savages in contact with chilivated men; our mercy be manifested as signally as our power? Will that they have not institutions of civilized life to guard we secure these victims of our destiny in their new lands! their nationality and their property against the frauds Guard them against the intrusion of our own people, and and the vices of rapacious traders and land pirates, nor from hostility among themselves! Redeem our promises the arts of civilized life wherewith to gain subsistence. of protection and political fellowship? It is but the These are obstacles to their preservation, which we, as question whether we shall enjoy peace and prosperity & people, in our efforts for their advantage, have perse on our Western frontier, or whether the Indian shai veringly, but as yet vainly, endeavored to overcome. send bis yell into the heart of our settlements, ravage Wars between them and us have resulted, almost inevi. our lands, burn our dwellings, massacre our wives and tably, from our contiguity. Yet those wars are not im children. Would ye rally his tribes to the flaming sigt putable to any general spirit of unkindness on our part; of war? Would ye see the thirsty prairies soaked with and we have strenuously endeavored to prevent their the mingled blood of the red man and the while? warring among themselves, to protect them against the not, be warned in time by the spectacle of desolation frauds and injustice of the lawless of our own people, and carnage in the South. and to impart to them the blessings of civilization. Is not East Florida laid waste? Have not millions upo

Still, indirectly, it is clear, we have to answer for the 1 millions been expended already in the as yet unavailin

« ПретходнаНастави »